DIY: Pretty Storage

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t first start this post off with…

Image c/o E! Online

Image c/o E! Online

The royal babe is here. The past few days were the most fantastic. I am only the tiniest bit sad that he isn’t a she, but I am happy if Kate is happy. And now…back to real life.

Final

Finally! Online shopping is actually helping me out. Besides outfitting myself, I have started converting the boxes my goodies arrive in to functional storage. It’s a very easy process and will save you money to buy NEW clothes and the economy environment! All you need is your pretty box, a pair of scissors, and clear packing tape.

Box 1

Select your box and clear out a space to work. Easy enough.

Box 2

Cut open the bottom of the box so that you can look through it, and then cut along one of the connected sides so that you can open it up to lay flat.

Box 3

Turn the box inside out and realign the edges of the connected side you just cut. The pretty side should be facing out. Next, take your clear packing tape and fashion a piece to secure the side to make the box connected once more.

Now your box should look like this!

Box 4

While it seems a little counterintuitive, re-tape the bottom of the box, which you split open earlier in Step Two.

Box 5

Then all that is left to do is fold the flaps inward and you have your very own pretty storage box!

I’m using these boxes for my DVD’s, but there are even more scattered around for craft supplies, sewing projects and catch-alls. The next step is to figure out what to do with all my Birchboxes…ideas welcome!

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On the Move

Image c/o Etsy

Image c/o Etsy

Coming this Monday, I will be leaving my first apartment in Chicago for something new. Going from a studio to a one-bedroom is my foray into adulthood and I couldn’t be more jazzed. I have so many decorating ideas floating around in my head that it can sometimes be hard to focus on actual work. Last night I made a video of myself giving my future self a tour of the apartment. I hope it will be funny to watch years from now and see the silly things that I had cluttering up my space. This exercise also helped me realize two things: 1. I have a lot of beauty products, and 2. I am kind of a klepto when it comes to magazines.

The overall look I am cultivating is very flea-market-eclectic-vintage chic. Slash you think you may have walked into Anthropologie instead of my home. There is so much furniture to buy! Also, why a glass coffee table is more than $50 anywhere, I will never know. Here are some of my favorite living rooms of the moment.

Image c/o Lonny

Image c/o Lonny

Image c/o Me Oh My

Image c/o Me Oh My

Image c/o Style at Home

Image c/o Style at Home

Image c/o Netrobe

Image c/o Netrobe

1. (Top of Post) Bri Emery’s Los Angeles Living Room, etsy.com

2. Eclectic Traditional Living Room, lonny.com

3. Nicole Davis’s Living Room, meohmymamma.blogspot.com

4. 11 Basic Design Elements, styleathome.com

5. Tory Burch’s Hamptons Living Room, netrobe.com

DIY: Reupholstered Shelving

My Own Image

Do you ever obsess about something without any actual follow through? Keeping it strictly legal here, I do that all the time. Literally all the time. I attribute it to my Scorpio nature. Thankfully my type of short-circuited thinking is limited to crafting (and sometimes outfits). You should be inside my head when I’m reading a magazine or cruising through Pinterest. Actually, no, you don’t because I would drive you bonkers.

One of my long-outstanding projects was to rehab these wooden shelves (a euphemism because I’m not actually sure what they were originally a part of) that I found discarded in my apartment building’s recycle room. After carefully checking that no one was watching me (who wants to be seen carrying trash out of the room?), I carted it off like a squirrel with half a moldy baguette. Okay, good, now I have this dirty piece of wood. I’m not about to sand and paint it. I’m too lazy and I have zero room to do so. Now what?

My genius conclusion? It sat against my wall, empty and forlorn waiting for my busy brain to have a eureka moment. It wasn’t until I was consumed with coveting everything from the IKEA catalogue (sure, it’s totally disposable furniture, but I just love it, okay?) did I get my answer.

Image c/o What’s Ur Home Story

That dresser is covered in fabric! I couldn’t believe it. I knew that with a few simple tools, as you will see below, I could turn my sad, brown block of wood into a faboosh storage piece.

Etsy was exactly where I wanted to get my fabric (you can see all of my Etsy favorites here). This brings me to a caveat in my obsessive thinking. When I do obsess over something, it is very much concentrated into the span of a few hours. During said few hours I am a woman possessed. I skip meals and sleep and phone calls. That is how I conducted my search of the perfect fabric. Though I didn’t end up choosing my material from this particular store, I fell in love with The Fabric Fox. There were so many amazing choices I had to ask my friends for help in deciding.

What I eventually selected (I think it took me about five hours) was this shimmery, gold, lace from Shades of Glory Fabrics. I decided on lace because I knew it would be forgiving if I messed it up and didn’t get everything aligned just so. I didn’t need an off-centered pattern eating away at me in the night.

My Own Image

After that baby arrived in the mail, I needed to make a visit to my local Home Depot to get my affixing tools. My dad was proud.

My Own Image

Using the sixth (preceded by laser, water, Nerf, glue, and potato), and second to last (other than nail), gun I’ll ever use, I was unstoppable. The tools weren’t actually purchased until weeks after the actual fabric arrived. And it was a couple more weeks until they were physically taken out of their packaging and used. What can I say? When it comes to deadlines for myself, all bets are off.

After I got used to the kickback of the staple gun, I just was a stapling machine. I was pretty liberal with the staples and just made sure that I kept the fabric taught.

My Own Image

All surfaces ended up being covered and I’m just thrilled at how it all turned out!

My Own Image

Do you just love it?!

My Own Image

Even through the shoddy camera phone pics (and that a certain visitor said, “It looks like it’s from my grandma’s house.”) you can still appreciate its beauty and my blood, sweat, and tears that went into it. Just the perfect little spot to house my blankets, magazines, and other oddities (on the far left is the book that Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere signed! In person!! EEK!!!) Oh, and wave hello back to Kate!

Going for the Gold

Image c/o IKEA and A Different View

I am a crafter at heart. I love seeing something that I think is fabulous and then trying to imagine how to recreate it at a lower cost. There’s something about making it my own that really draws me to want to use my hands. One such project that is currently taking place (at a glacial pace) is a grey and white chevron backdrop for my TV.

The idea came to me when I realized how annoyed I was with all of the exposed wires. Once I hang up my creation this week, I’ll be sure to post it here. I have made a promise to myself to not start this new project that I will describe to you below until I finish said TV backdrop. My apartment is finally in a semi-normal state and I don’t want to indulge my crafting ADD any more than I already am.

So where did I get my brilliantly shiny plan? I was surfing through a post on The Glitter Guide about great ideas for your home office. Granted, I live in a studio so my living space is many spaces in one. My “home office” is a desk and chair by the window. Thus, a multi-functional space calls for multi-functional furniture. Long ago (so like, last week) I decided that the final empty space in my apartment would be best suited by a storage/bookcase structure. When I saw the two images below, my brain had a moment and I knew I had found my answer!

Images c/o The Glitter Guide and Bryn Alexandra

Do you get it yet? No? Okay, I’ll break it down. The Glitter Guide (on zee left) told me, “Being organized is beautiful and you can do it with sweet baskets.” Bryn Alexandra (on yer right) told me, “There’s this gorgeous new line at IKEA that could make all your dreams come true.” I said, “Sold, but – roadblock – that IKEA bookshelf is ugly black brown and I need it to be in gold.” Luckily, my inner crafting goddess said none too soon, “Just do it.”

So soon my painting-IKEA-furniture-gold adventure begins. I am not sure how long it will take or how much I will hate myself for deciding to do it because IKEA furniture is like rocket science to put together in the first place. Good luck, me!

My Etsy Wishlist

Image c/o sparrownestscript

If you like buying things that are unique, look no further than Etsy. I’ve been an Etsy fan for years (even sold some things on it!) and now that I am in my own apartment, I have been turning to this site for various prints for my (still) bare walls (don’t rush me). I like that everything on the site feels like a more personal purchase. I especially like the vintage-y feel of something handmade, like these Pssst Mini-Notecards. Sometimes I’ll get a little carried away with adding items to my Urban Outfitters wishlist and then I realize that what I’m buying is not special; it’s just made en masse in a factory somewhere (don’t get me wrong though, I do love UO).

There are several gifting occasions on the horizon: weddings, Mother’s Day, birthdays, graduation day. I invite you to visit Etsy and find a gift not sold in a store.

Here are a few items I have had my eyeball on.

Image c/o Diana Parkhouse

A personalized ring dish for any upcoming weddings.

Image c/o imagerich

A vintage map of my hometown. I’m seriously in to the “city” theme lately.

Image c/o junedesigns

A whisper thin gold ring made from recycled 14K yellow gold.

Image c/o LibbieandWinston

A monogrammed mouse pad. So fetch.

Fill in the Spaces

Image c/o 20×200

With wood in places to make it feel like home. – John Mayer

Whew, have I been busy lately. Work has kept me cranking during the day and by quittin’ time I just want to eat dinner and pass out. This past weekend was full of activities with me, myself, and my former roommate, with whom I dined at RPM Italian (Giuliana and Bill’s new restaurant). If you have the chance, you MUST go there. It is divine and we ate our weight in food.

I like having some weekends to myself to reconnect and get centered. Sometimes I procrastinate a little too much and the smaller items on my “to do” list get passed up again and again. One of those was buying some real furniture. I mentioned before that I have a mash-up of various pieces that I have collected over the years, none of which actually work cohesively together. For the better part of an afternoon, I scoured through websites and measured my apartment top to bottom (figuratively speaking). Then I dove down the financial rabbit hole and spent more money than I ever have at one time. Yikes, adulthood.

Something else I tend to do it to agonize over my choices. I think, “Is this the best deal?” or “Is there something cooler/better/prettier?” or “Do I really need this?” At some point you just have to stop and give in and be happy with your choice. “I choose my choice! I choose my choice!”

So with a helpful BOGO 50% off from Target and some pin-spiration (get it? (Pinterest – terest) + (inspiration – in))(I can’t believe I still know how to do math!), I got some lovely items that are on there way. Sadly, my accent chair won’t get here until May, but I am practicing patience. My line-out-the-door of guests will just have to wait!

Image c/o Patterson Maker

Images c/o Target

Chair, Office Star White Trinidad Desk Chair, Target, $199.99

Desk, Dolce Desk – White, Target, $139.99

There is barely anything on the walls. I’m still waiting for pin-spiration for that. This week try to cross something off your list that has been popping up for a while. Trust me, you’ll feel a world better after it’s completed.